Where do I begin?!
I won't tell you about my sister who remains as chemically imbalanced as ever. Whatever. Her problem.
I won't tell you about my parents who feel the need to schedule our every waking minute. The funniest thing about that is that I hear the exact same thing every single time prior to our trip...
"We're not planning anything. We're playing everything by ear."
...only to get down there to find out that everything has been worked out and written down to the smallest detail. Do you know that they actually had the nerve to tell us that the day after we arrived, and completely exhausted I might add, that we were going to go out to breakfast at 7:50 AM?! Yeah, and my ass hair looks like Michael Jackson's face and I'll be auctioning off a picture of it on eBay. NOT!!!
Needless to say, I told them the kids and I were sleeping in and they could have a lovely breakfast without us. I should add that no one went to breakfast at 7:50 AM the day after we arrived. Score for Koolio!
One thing I will tell you about is how my generous parents have helped me pay off my mortgage. As nice a gesture as it was, there's the usual blame-game when my parents do something nice for me. And, as usual, a story behind a story!
The history of this story goes back a few months when interest rates dropped and I tried to refinance through my mortgage company. I spent time talking with a mortgage expert, collecting vital information and then suddenly, being ignored with my calls and Emails not being returned. It was frustrating to say the least. As it turns out, I didn't need to refinance because my interest rate dropped remarkably low on it's own and for the next six months, I was secure.
My father Emailed me one day at the end of May and graciously announced that he and my mom wanted to pay off my mortgage and offer me an incredible, unheard of rate through them. Of course I couldn't say 'no'! But I should have because I knew what was about to follow!
Before I arrived at my "vacation" destination last Saturday, I knew that my parents would want to talk with me about their mortgage loan. It wasn't about how glad they were that they could help me. It was about how my need for them to do this for me was cutting into their retirement fund and that basically, I owed them a couple hundred thousand dollars! That I now had to look into getting at least a part-time job to help pay them back so they would no longer have to give me their annual tax-free "gift"/allowance.
Of course I should never be surprised by the things that come out of their mouths, but I was a bit taken aback this time. I finally had had it with their degrading treatment and told them what was on my mind. First, I let them know that as always, I was very appreciative of their generosity and that I never took what they offered/gave me for granted. Then I reminded them that they were the ones who came to me years ago about this annual gift and that I had never once asked them for money. I also reminded them that they were the ones who came to me with their mortgage solution, that I never looked a gift horse in the mouth but I was not going to allow them to make me feel guilty for doing it.
My father was not pleased I had contributed my two sense and still made me feel guilty for it and not with a pleasant demeanor. He was never good, even when he worked, about people 'beneath him' speaking up. Ah well, at least I tried. And when they're living under an overpass in a large cardboard box that they call home, I'll visit them. Once. Maybe I'll even throw them a few bucks, ya' know, in appreciation. *wink*
One other thing occurred that my soon-to-be 12 year old son (tomorrow, YAY!!) picked up on and he let my parents have it but good! A little background first....
It's been some time now since I've seen a photo of myself with the kids in my parents' place that isn't hidden on a large nightstand in my parents' bedroom or when the kids were four to five years younger than they are now and yes, I am completely insulted by this. More so this time when I showed up and on the coffee table in their living room where they have photos lined up of the kids, something new caught my eye...a set of photo coasters with my kids pix in them and oh, will you look at that! A photo of my son with my sister. Where was a picture of me with either child? Conveniently not there.
For those of you who've been following my blog for awhile, you may recall that every time I'm visiting my family, my sister is invited along. Yes, the only sibling I have, the crazy one, the one who always takes credit for being my kids' mother when we're outside my parents' home. And now, it would appear, that my parents are trying to give the impression to all visitors that A) they're first born is more important than I and B) she is the kids' mother to all unsuspecting house guests.
I have never said anything about this and the closest thing I've said something about what assholes they are regarding this matter, is handing my camera to my father to take pictures of me and the kids thinking that at some point he'd catch on. Unless proven otherwise, I'm assuming he's purposefully ignoring the hint.
Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed the absence of my photo. My son picked up on this and one evening while we were dressed more nicely than most as we were getting ready to go out to enjoy a nice meal to celebrate my kids' birthdays, the picture-taking started - my mom with kids, my dad with kids, my sister with kids and...my son, directed towards my father, blurted out...
"How come whenever we're here you never take pictures of mom with us? That's really rude! It's like you don't want any pictures of her! L. is not our mom and you care more about taking pictures of her with us and none with my mom! I'm not taking anymore pictures with any of you until you start being fair to mom!"
Have I told you how much I love my son?!
This was the first time I've ever seen or heard my son stick up for anyone. I guess it would be apropos, that just a few days before he was to turn 12 that he would exhibit some maturity. And boy, did he ever! That and he made me smile!